California Governor Signs Executive Order to Increase Renewable Energy Production

On November 17, 2008, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-14-08, directing several state agencies to expedite the process of creating renewable generation facilities and proposing to expand California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The Governor’s proposed RPS of 33 percent renewable generation by 2020 would build on the current target of producing 20 percent by 2010.

The Executive Order establishes the Renewable Energy Action Team (REAT), a partnership between the California Energy Commission and the state’s Department of Fish and Game. The REAT agencies will concurrently review renewable energy projects for approval at the state level in order to streamline the application process. The REAT will also be responsible for identifying strategic locations for renewable energy development. The Executive Order identifies land in the Mojave and Colorado deserts as areas of specific interest for renewable energy and directs the REAT to develop a plan to take advantage of energy resources as well as maintain conservation goals in those regions. The Executive Order also directs the REAT to collaborate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management to take advantage of renewable generation on federal lands.

The current RPS does not apply to publicly-owned utilities, although most have voluntary renewable targets. Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed legislative language to codify the proposed RPS, which would then apply to all of the state’s public and private utilities.

Press Release
Executive Order
Renewable Portfolio Standards